While doing mock drafts certainly can be a futile attempt to make your team better, the Green Bay Packers would surely be pleased if the following mock played out for them. Being able to address pressing needs while also planning for the future, the Packers would be able to check quite a few boxes off, an important thing for a franchise facing an extremely important season.
This is a three-round mock draft.
1st Round (#29)
Caleb Farley – Cornerback
Sitting at the back-end of the first round makes it tough for top talent to fall down, and while GM Brian Gutekunst does love to move around the board, his background comes from Ted Thompson, who relied on playing the board as it was and more often than not staying put.
At pick 29, GB selects Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, one of the three top CBs in this year’s draft class, alongside Jaycee Horn (South Carolina) and Patrick Surtain II (Alabama). For Farley, he has a chance to slip in the draft due to injury concerns surround his back and a torn ACL, but his production with VT certainly gives him a lot of ground to stand on to plead his first-round case.
GB has gone DB heavy in recent drafts, as 2018 saw the addition of both Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson with their first two selections, and 2019 welcomed in safety Darnell Savage with their second of two first-round selections. With no proven starter next to Alexander (even with Kevin King returning), it would make sense to try and add to the CB group early, since there is quite a steep drop-off from the top 3-5 options.
Farley has been projected all over the place in mock drafts, but for him to fall this late in the first would be a perfect way for Green Bay to kick off their ‘21 draft class, adding a starting CB for many years to come.
2nd round (#62)
Jay Tufele – Defensive Tackle
Hitting defense early and often, GB is needing to add some serious depth alongside Kenny Clark at the defensive tackle position. With this year’s class being extremely weaker than last year’s, using their 2nd round selection on USC’s Jay Tufele would be a smart investment.
Tufele, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike, and Alabama’s Christian Barmore lead the charge at DT, with Ohio State’s Tommy Togiai and UCLA’s Osa Odighizuwa also in the mix. Barmore seems to be the lone first-round talent in this group, making it tough to know when the rest of this group should be drafted.
Tufele entered the collegiate ranks highly ranked, and while his time with the Trojans included some impressive plays, the fact that his playing weight sits just over 300 pounds could lend itself to some issues early on. Plus, he did opt out last season, meaning that he is over a full season removed from playing.
Needing to desperately add some depth at DT, Tufele has the needed burst to become a solid NFL option, but the ability for him to take that next step at the next level is something that GB will need to get out of him, which seems likely.
3rd Round (#92)
Hamsah Nasilrideen – Safety
The third consecutive defensive addition, and one that may be seen as more of a luxury than a need, is bringing in Florida State safety Hamsah Nasilrideen. While having two starting safeties in Savage and Adrian Amos, Green Bay’s defense is going to need a third safety to help fill all the needed roles for DC Joe Barry, allowing both Savage and Nasilrideen to float down into the box and/or play over the top.
This year’s safety class, similar to that of the DT class, does not truly boast a breathtaking talent, although TCU’s Trevon Moehrig certainly is doing his best to make that case. Alongside Moehrig and Nasilrideen is Oregon’s Jevon Holland, with the two latter options being interchangeable for the second safety prospect in the draft.
For Nasilrideen, his strengths come with his play at or around the line of scrimmage, as his physicality and run-stopping abilities were on display quite often at FSU. With certain coverage abilities as well in his bag, he would do well to put on some weight to assume more of that hybrid safety/linebacker role for GB.
Adding a player like Nasilrideen’s in the 3rd round is quite a get, something that GB would be set up well to do.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23